An Exhausting Journey Or Living With ADHD

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 Living with ADHD is like walking up a down escalator. You can get there eventually but the journey is exhausting (Kathleen Ely, Helena, Montana).

This paper will show facts, signs, and symptoms, diagnosis, along with treatment some may receive, along a brief history. The author hopes to clarify a greater understanding of this condition and how it really works.

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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, more commonly known as ADHD, is a medical condition commonly found in young males. Although the exact causes of ADHD are not known it is clear that specific parts of the brain are involved, including the frontal cortex, parietal lobe, and possibly the related to an imbalance in certain neurotransmitters (the chemicals in the brain that carry messages between nerve cells), specifically deficits in the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine (Lounge, Jacqueline L. pg.81). Children with ADHD commonly have trouble paying attention in school and they have some behavioral issues when it comes to certain things, such as sitting still or having uncontrollable impulses. Although ADHD is commonly found in young males doesn’t mean it’s only in them, there are females with ADHD; it is just less common. Often times when a child has ADHD they also have another psychiatric disorder. (Larry I. Lutwick, pg.85)

There isn’t much history of ADHD but there is an early on knowledge of it the condition. The earliest description of it was written by a German doctor in 1845, about his own son. In 1902 a British doctor named George Still gave a series of lectures to other doctors, in which he described children who would now be called hyperactive and impulsive. Still thought that the disorder might be genetic in origin. He emphasized the fact that the behavioral problems in these children did not result from bad parenting (Larry I. Lutwick, pg.82). Since ADHD was discovered in the mid-1800s and has been further researched throughout the years now it is a very commonly known disorder is specifically your male children. The symptoms are usually what determines this and it’s commonly seen in male children before the age of 7.

The parts of the brain associated with ADHD include the frontal cortex, the parietal lobe, and the cerebellum. the cause of this disorder is linked to a decreased amount of the neurotransmitters dopamine and europhile which affect the brain’s ability to focus (Lounge, Jacqueline L. pg.82). The condition of ADHD is also more likely in children whose mothers smoke tobacco products, use drugs, or have been exposed to toxins. Pregnant women who smoke tobacco products are at increased risk of giving birth to a child with ADHD. Alcohol or drug use during pregnancy may also contribute to an increased risk for ADHD (Lounge, Jacqueline L. pg.82).

Before doctors are even able to make a diagnosis on any medical condition they must run multiple tests, ADHD is no different. It isn’t a paper test but more of a fact-based personality test The doctors usually monitor certain behavior before the age of seven (7) which is when most behavioral traits are seen. However, the child must have the signs for at least six (6) months prior but also must show at least six(6) signs and symptoms. The majority of the time the doctors want to pay attention to the child’s lifestyle such as: at home, relationships with friends, and schoolwork. Once they confirm a child may have ADHD they have to figure out which type, there are three (3) types of ADHD. The first one being inattentiveness, this causes the person to have a limited attention span, distractibility, forgetfulness, or procrastination. Second, there is impulsiveness, this causes the patient to be impatient and act before they think this can also follow into adulthood. Lastly, there is a combination of the two (2). Of course, some people outgrow ADHD as they go into adulthood but some do not.

The treatment given to the patient will be based on the type of ADHD that they have and how bad it may be. There are four psychostimulant treatments that have been demonstrated by hundreds of randomized controlled trials to consistently reduce the primary symptoms of ADHD: methylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, pemoline, and a mixture of amphetamine salts. These medications are only effective for one to four hours and so must be administered with the individual’s school or work schedule (Laurie J. Fundukian, pg 165). Basically, when a person is taking medication for ADHD it’s prescribed with 4 main chemicals that can help a person but it only lasts about 4 hours. each person has different reactions to the medication. Of course, there’s another form of psychosocial treatment which is more attention techniques.

Some people’s ADHD follows them into adulthood but this isn’t always the case. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that about 11% of children from 4 to 17 years of age have been diagnosed in the United States with ADHD. The disorder is more common in boys (13.2%) than in girls (5.6%). In addition, approximately 4.7% of American adults have ADHD (Jacqueline L. Longe, pg 567). It seems that people with ADHD at a young age typically grow out of it as they get older. ADHD doesn’t affect others in society too much usually it can be a slight distraction but nothing more. Economy-wise, people who are prescribed medication usually have to pay for it unless insurance covers it.

Overall, I chose this topic because I wanted to know a little more about it other than just the basics that my cousin, who has ADHD, has explained to me. I learned that there are different types of ADHD, not to mention the other factors it puts on the body and brain. This paper has discussed the main topic of what ADHD is, the history of ADHD, the causes and effects on the body, the diagnosis and types of ADHD that a person might have along with the treatment/ medication provided for this disease. This paper was more to inform the reader about ADHD, show how it’s different than just acting out and misbehaving. There isn’t anything to really be done but if you run into a younger person with ADHD try not to be so harsh on them or get annoyed or mad it’s not going to help anyone. Instead, a way to make someone feel more comfortable is by not acknowledging it and treating them how you would treat anyone else.



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